The Anonymous Widower

Bears In Sweden

I found a piece in Highlife on the flight, about going to see bears and wolves in Northern Sweden.  It is a company called Naturetrek and this page is the holiday to see bears.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Transport | | 1 Comment

Welcome To Stockholm

I took the train into Stockholm from the airport at Arlanda and then walked to the hotel. I know cycling is good for you, but why do cyclists park their bikes everywhere, so that walking is virtually impossible?

Welcome To Stockholm

Welcome To Stockholm

In fairness to Stockholm, a lot of building work was going on at the station and the walking path will probably be better in the future. There was the odd map along the route, but not as many as we now have in London.  But some might say that London is overmapped.  I wouldn’t!

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Do We Sometimes Push Technology Too Far?

I like proven technology, as often some of the things done fifty years or so ago, may not have been very good at the time, but somehow over time they have proved themselves to be reliable and economic.

The classioc is the Inter City 125 train, introduced as a stop-gap in 1976. But it is only one of a number of classic designs, that just never get replaced.

A personal old idea that affects me is Warfarin, which I take every day to thin my blood and stop myself having another stroke. There are more modern drugs, but I’ve heard cardilogists say that now is not the time to change, as we don’t know enough about the side effects of new drugs yet.

And that is the crux of the matter!  When anything has been used for years, we have a vast knowledge base to make sure, that it doesn’t bite us or even worse.

So I was rather pleased to see this report that says the new Airbus A350 will use more traditional batteries than the Boeing 787. Before you use new technology in something as critical as an airliner, you must prove it as thoroughly as possible.

The problem with proving aircraft parts as compared to that of says cars, buses or trains, is that the aircraft leaves the ground and does other things land-based machines don’t.

I remember, my next door neighbour in London, when I was a child, a Mr. Gibbon, saying that if Ford wanted to test a new truck axle, they’d fit a few in trucks and give them to a contractor, who was known to break anything.  If he couldn’t break any,then it was probably a better axle. But you can’t give aircraft to bad airlines and let them do the testing!

What worries me about these plane batteries, is how many other new ideas are incorporated, that haven’t been completely tested?  Aviation is littered with mistakes, where new designs have failed.

On the other hand, look at this wing of the baby Airbus 319/320/321, on which I flew to Stockholm.

Airbus A320 Wing

Airbus A320 Wing

Go back twenty years or so and the design of a wing would be similar, but you can see developments like the wing-tips, that make the wings more efficient, have now become commonplace.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Porridge At Heathrow

On the way out to Stockholm, I wanted to eat well before I left the UK. The flight left at 11:30, so it was a bit early for lunch, but I was able to get a second breakfast at Gordon Ramsay in Terminal Five.  I had porridge for the first time in years and jolly good it was too.

Porridge At Heathrow

Porridge At Heathrow

Note in the background, the card describing Gordon Ramsay’s onboard picnics. That is a good idea and the manager assured me they can be gluten-free.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

Home Run From Stockholm

I’ve just returned from Stockholm, after flying there and taking various trains all the way home.

All of the posts concerning this trip will be tagged Home Run From Stockholm. Clicking the tag below will give them all. Hopefully, in the chronological order if the trip. Although to start with they’ll probably be backwards.

I sarted at Heathrow on Sunday, June the 16th, I flew to Stockholm by British Airways.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Clever Phishing E-Mail Supposedly From O2

I just received an e-mail supposedly from O2 asking me to change my user name. This is the body.

Hello ,
We recently asked you to change your O2 Username.
To change the username to email please click on this link below to confirm this email and finish changing your username.
To keep your details safe, this link will only work for 48 hours from the time it was sent, so please click it now.
Sorry, but we can’t write back to you from this address, so please don’t reply to it. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Services.

I am a customer of O2, but I never access them on-line, so I was a bit puzzled to start with.  I then noticed it came to an old e-mail address, I only used for support on a company I owned. I then checked the headers and found that the e-mail came from Turkey.

It didn’t fool me, but it does show that phishing e-mails are getting more credible.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Ten Big Mistakes

This piece on the BBC web site lists ten of the greatest mistakes of all time. They do have one from the Liverpool Echo.

The Liverpool Echo, in a rare error, once described Violet, the mother of the Kray twins, as “Mrs Violent Kray”.

I disagree with the statement it was a rare error. Fritz Spiegl, wrote a whole book on the subject of errors in Liverpool’s evening paper.

One I actually saw, was when they referred to the 1697 Arab-Israeli War.

Knowing the city well, as I do, I was always a bit suspicious that some of mistakes in the paper were not as accidental, as many would believe!

June 16, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

My First Real Fish And Chips In Thirty Years

I’ve never been a great one for greasy fish and chips in newspaper and my late wife, C, wasn’t either. Although, when we lived in St. John’s Wood, we did occasionally get a takeaway from Sea Shell in Lisson Grove. But even in the 1960s, that was of a different quality to for example the chip shop. I remember in East Barnet close to my mother-in-law’s.

Yesterday I read in Giles Coren’s restaurant review in The Times of The Fish and Chip Shop in Upper Street, Islington. I passed it yesterday whilst shopping, popped in and found they could do gluten-free fish and chips. So later in the day, I returned with my son for supper.

The Fish And Chip Shop, Islington

The Fish And Chip Shop, Islington

I had plaice in a gluten-free batter and my son had a fish curry. We both found the food excellent and I finished off with an ice cream, the quality and flavour of which, probably betrayed the usual source of most good ice cream in restaurants in the northern and central parts of London; Marine Ices in Camden Town.

The one problem with the restaurant was that we were a bit cramped on the bar, so if you’re thinking of going, book early. My son and I usually decide to go for a meal, perhaps an hour or so before, so we tend to end up in somewhere like Carluccio’s, Pizza Express or Côte, where booking is optional early in the evening or at lunchtime.

On the other hand, as it is very convenient for me, with the 30 bus stop opposite, it’s one of those restaurants, where if I need supper because my fridge is empty or the cooking has gone wrong, I’ll go and sit on the bar and partake of a plaice and chips. As Giles Coren said in his review, the chips are nice, proper, potatoey English chip shop chips.

Eating out in my local area has just got better!

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | 1 Comment